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Peter Handscomb and John Hastings called up to Australia’s One-Day International Squad

Peter Handscomb and John Hastings have been called into the Australia squad for the remainder of the One-Day International series against England on the Qantas Tour of the British Isles, it was confirmed today.

The Victoria duo have been drafted in to cover for injuries suffered by Shane Watson and Nathan Coulter-Nile.

Batsman-wicketkeeper Handscomb and fast bowling all-rounder Hastings join another Victorian, Aaron Finch, as newcomers to the squad, the latter having been called up on Saturday  following the fractured left thumb suffered by David Warner during Australia’s 64-run win against England at Lord’s, a result that gives the side a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

Watson pulled up with a strain to his right calf during that match at Lord’s while Coulter-Nile suffered a strain to his right hamstring during the latter stages of the same match. Both have been ruled out for the remainder of the series.

Handscomb, 24, has been playing county cricket for Gloucestershire during the northern summer and also toured India with Australia A earlier this year, while Hastings, 29, has spent the off-season playing county cricket for Durham.

Handscomb has yet to feature at senior international level while Hastings has played one Test – against South Africa in Perth in November/December 2012 – as well as 11 One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals.

Hastings is the second-highest wicket-taker in List A cricket in the county season with 18 victims from eight matches.

Finch, 28, meanwhile, has been playing county cricket for Yorkshire after recovering from a foot injury. Earlier this year he was part of the Australia squad that lifted the ICC Cricket World Cup and his contribution included 135 in the side’s opening match of the tournament, against England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The trio linked up with the Australia squad on Sunday night in Manchester.

Darren Lehmann, the Head Coach of the Australian cricket team, said: “We’re disappointed to lose players of the calibre of David Warner, Shane Watson and Nathan Coulter-Nile but we have quality replacements on hand in Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb and John Hastings.

“We looked at all options including the possibility of flying in cover from Australia but the fact all three of the players we have drafted in are already in England means they can join us at short notice, be acclimatised to conditions and be available for selection immediately, if required.

“We look forward to them playing their parts in trying to ensure we finish this tour with a victory in the One-Day International series against England, starting in Manchester on Tuesday night.”

John Hastings said: “It’s a little bit of a surprise as I haven’t played for Australia since 2012 but I never gave up hope and thought that if I kept on doing the right things then I would have a chance. I’ve been lucky enough to have done fairly well for Durham and I’m very excited.

“In the past when I’ve had the opportunity I’ve not taken it with both hands and so to get another opportunity is great. Whether I get a game, I’m not sure, but if I do then I’ll be giving it my all.”

Peter Handscomb said: “It’s a big shock and I definitely didn’t see it coming but I’m thrilled to get the call.

“I had a good season at home and have been trying to back it up and I’ve been lucky enough to be here in England so it might be a case of (being in the) right place (at the) right time.

“Being involved with the A squad in India earlier this year was an awesome experience. I’m feeling good, and I can’t wait to join up with the rest of the players.”

Aaron Finch said: “I’m very excited to be back although unfortunately it’s for David Warner under circumstances that are not ideal.

“But these things happen in cricket. I’m pleased to be fully fit again and it’s great to be back.”

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